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The high-level Conference 'EU animal welfare - today & tomorrow' took place on 9 December and was a hybrid event, opened by Commissioner Kyriakides and the Slovenian Presidency, represented by Mr Jože Podgoršek, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.

Other speakers included Commissioner Wojciechowski and MEP Norbert Lins, in addition to Dr Jane Goodall whose key note speech stressed the ethical aspects and the fact that animals are sentient beings, capable of knowing fear and feeling pain.

The event had around 500 active participants (of which 45 on-site) and more than 2000 people following via web-streaming.

The preliminary findings of the fitness check of the current EU legislation, initiated in 2020, were presented by the Commission. Stakeholders’ views validated these findings. For instance, it emerged that while the current EU rules have improved animal welfare in Europe, they are outdated and do not meet neither the expectations of today, nor the challenges of tomorrow.

Future policy options were debated as regards animal welfare labelling, animal transport, slaughter and farm level welfare, including the phasing-out of cages. The panel discussions revolved around the approaches presented in the Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment of 6 July 2021, for instance as regards the export of live animals to non-Eu countries.

Together with an Open Public Consultation, which runs until 21 January 2022, this event will help the Commission to better shape its proposal for a revised EU animal welfare legislation in 2023, as committed in the Farm to Fork Strategy.

Practical information

9 December 2021, 9.30 (CET)

Interpretation will be available in English, French and German.